Thursday, 4 December 2008

Keeping in touch in the digital age

Using ooVoo for three way family webcam chats

I live in Hampshire, my brother lives in Scotland, and my parents live in Northumberland. Not ideal really, but that's the way it's ended up. This generally means we only get to see each other altogether about twice a year - not as often as we'd like. As you may know, my wife and I are moving to Canada next year, even further away - so I decided it was time to do something to make sure we get to see each other often. I don't want to have even less contact due to being overseas!

First we experimented with Windows Live Messenger (MSN), Yahoo Messenger and Skype, which didn't do the job for various reasons - we needed something that would work on Windows XP and Mac OS X, and which would allow more than two participants at a time.

We eventually found the ideal piece of software for having webcam & voice chats with more than two participants. It's a great piece of software called ooVoo. It runs on Mac or PC, is a free 15Mb download, and is very easy to set up.

So now we can have 3 way video-conferences (in fact, ooVoo supports up to six participants) at a set time every week - which will make the distances seem a lot less. It's so much more than just a phone conversation, it is much more like seeing your family in person. Problem solved! I love it when technology actually improves your life! If your family or friends are far away, I recommend you give it a go.